Deshimaru

  1. Zen Deshimaru
  2. Taisen Deshimaru Quotes
  3. Deshimaru Books

The Heart Sutra from a Japanese Zen Buddhist Perspective.

Zen Deshimaru

Loy was born in the Panama Canal Zone. His father was in the U.S. Navy so the family traveled a great deal. He attended Carleton College in Minnesota, and spent his junior year abroad studying philosophy at King's College London. After graduation in 1969 he moved to San Francisco and then to Hawaii where he began to practice Zen Buddhism. Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) grew up on the island of Kyushu in Japan. He was a disciple of Kodo Sawaki, which he followed for 30 years and with whom he practiced until his death in 1965 while continuing his life in society. Kodo Sawaki was one of the most influential Zen masters of the 20th century in Japan: He insisted on the importance of.

  • Taisen Deshimaru (1914-1982) was a Japanese Zen Master, and the individual largely responsible for bringing Soto Zen to Europe. A legendary figure, widely acknowledged throughout the Zen world, he stands in the ranks of the great Zen teachers of modern times, including, Suzuki Roshi, Maezumi Roshi,.
  • Deshimaru's freighter was carrying a cargo of dynamite, and whenever a torpedo skirted the bow or the stern, crew members, beyond themselves with fear, plunged blindly overboard. The ship was in the hands of a capable captain, however, and so Deshimaru sat on the forecastle below the captain's cockpit in the perfect full lotus.

A Book for Students of Zen Buddhism; Religion Scholars;
Philosophy Students, and Readers of Taisen Deshimaru’s Books.

“Mushotoku mind” means an attitude of no profit, no gain. It is the core of master Taisen Deshimaru’s Zen. This respected teacher of Japanese Soto Zen moved from Japan in 1967 and brought this work to Paris, from where it was disseminated throughout the West. This book presents his commentary on the most renowned of Buddhist texts, the Heart Sutra, known in Japanese as Hannya Shingyo—a philosophical investigation on the futility of philosophical investigation.

Deshimaru’s work fills a great gap in the interpretations of this seminal text in that he emphasizes “mind-emptiness” (ku) as the foundation of Zen practice, in contrast to the usual “mindfulness” focus of many other Zen approaches. This “emptiness” and “purpose of no purpose” is one of the most difficult ideas for Westerners to understand. Yet we know that our most cherished values are based on mushotoku mind when it comes, for example, to love. We value the unselfish love of family or country that is based not on what we can get from the relationship but on what we can give. We know, too, that these virtues are not accomplished directly through our will but indirectly through dropping our expectations.

His lectures on this subject have been translated by Ilsa Fatt and edited by Reiryu Philippe Coupey of Deshimaru’s British and French groups; and here completely revised and reedited for an American audience by Reishin Richard Collins. This edition emphasizes Deshimaru’s chorus: Mushotoku mind is the key attitude characterizing the way of the Buddha, the way of the bodhisattva, The way of Zen and zazen, and the way of all sutras (teachings).

Taisen Deshimaru (d. 1982) was the founder of the Association Zen Internationale, one of the largest influences on Zen in the West. He is author of: The Ring of the Way and The Zen Way to Martial Arts: A Japanese Master Reveals the Secrets of the Samurai.Satechi keyboard mac.

Richard Collins is a Zen teacher in the lineage of Taisen Deshimaru and Dean of Arts & Humanities at California State University, Bakersfield.

We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.
If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.

Taisen Deshimaru (29 November1914 – 30 April1982) was a Japanese SōtōZen Buddhist teacher. His experiences led him to Bangka Island, where he taught zazen to the Chinese, Indonesian, and European inhabitants of the island. The island was under the attack of the Japanese Occupational Army, who were executing large numbers of the inhabitants indiscriminately. Feeling a plight for the people of Bangka, Deshimaru eventually took up their cause and was quickly labeled a rebel by the Japanese Army and thrown in prison. Shortly before he was due for execution, high Japanese officials released him and the other prisoners waiting to be killed. Following this, he was placed in an American POW camp in Singapore until he was released months later. He died in 1982, after having solidly established Zen practice in the West.

Quotes

Keep your hands open, and all the sands of the desert can pass through them. Close them, and all you can feel is a bit of grit.
Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated.
Meditation is Drinking it!
Only universaltruth can provide the highest wisdom. Take away the wordZen and put Truth or Order of the Universe in its place.
  • Keep your hands open, and all the sands of the desert can pass through them. Close them, and all you can feel is a bit of grit.
    • As quoted in Zen to Go (1989) by Jon Winokur, p. 126
  • Train the body and develop stamina and endurance. But the spirit of competition and power that presides over them is not good, it reflects a distorted vision of life. The root of the martial arts is not there.
    • As quoted in Armed Martial Arts of Japan: Swordsmanship and Archery (1998) by G. Cameron Hurst, G. Cameron Hurst, 3rd, G. Hurst I, p. 4
  • You must concentrate upon and consecrate yourself wholly to each day, as though a fire were raging in your hair.
    • As quoted in Just Before Dark : Collected Nonfiction (1999) by Jim Harrison, p. 39
  • You have to practice until you die.
    • As quoted in Leading from Within : Martial Arts Skills for Dynamic Business and Management (1999) by Robert Pater, p. 223
  • Zen is not a particular state but the normal state: silent, peaceful, unagitated. In Zazen neither intention, analysis, specific effort nor imagination take place. It's enough just to be without hypocrisy, dogmatism, arrogance — embracing all opposites.
    • As quoted in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Buddhist Wisdom (2000) by Gill Farrer Halls, p. 162
Deshimaru
  • If you have a glass full of liquid you can discourse forever on its qualities, discuss whether it is cold, warm, whether it is really and truly composed of H-2-O, or even mineral water, or saki. Meditation is Drinking it!
    • As quoted in Real Magic : Creating Miracles in Everyday Life (2001) by Wayne W. Dyer, p. 123
  • Harmonizing opposites by going back to their source is the distinctive quality of the Zen attitude, the Middle Way: embracing contradictions, making a synthesis of them, achieving balance.
    • As quoted in Zen and the Art of Systems Analysis : Meditations on Computer Systems Development (2002) by Patrick McDermott, p. xix
  • We feel our shell keeps us safe, but it crushes us and others, and keeps out light and sun.
    • As quoted in Zen Miracles : Finding Peace in an Insane World (2002) by Brenda Shoshanna, p. 80
  • You must not take out your sword because if you try to kill someone, you must die for it yourself. What you must do instead is kill yourself, kill your own mind.
    • As quoted in A Galaxy Not So Far Away : Writers and Artists on Twenty-five Years of Star Wars (2002) by Glenn Kenny, p. 99

Taisen Deshimaru Quotes

  • You are the strongest and the others keep their distance. It is no longer necessary to win victories over them.
    • As quoted in A Galaxy Not So Far Away : Writers and Artists on Twenty-five Years of Star Wars (2002) by Glenn Kenny, p. 99
  • To receive everything, one must open one's hands and give.
    • As quoted in Treasury of Spiritual Wisdom : A Collection of 10,000 Powerful Quotations (2003) by Andy Zubko, p. 184
  • If you are not happy here and now, you never will be.
    • As quoted in The Book of Positive Quotations (2007) by John Cook, Steve Deger and Leslie Ann Gibson, p. 279
  • Think with your whole body.
    • As quoted in Wisdom of the Peaceful Warrior : A Companion to the Book That Changes Lives (2007) by Dan Millman, p. 19
  • We should learn to think with our fingers.
    • As quoted in Meditation (2003) by Jose Lorenzo-Fuentes, p. 113
  • Religions remain what they are. Zen is meditation. Meditation is the foundation of every religion. People today feel an intense need to go back to the source of religious life, to the pure essence in the depths of themselves which they can discover only through actually experiencing it. They also need to be able to concentrate their minds in order to find the highest wisdom and freedom, which is spiritual in nature, in their efforts to deal with the influences of every description imposed upon them by their environment. Human wisdom alone is not enough, it is not complete. Only universal truth can provide the highest wisdom. Take away the word Zen and put Truth or Order of the Universe in its place.

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